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The Full Story

During the 1960’s Presbytery purchased 11 ½ acres of land on the east side of Highway 101, adjacent to SE 19th street with a vision of eventually building a new church facility. By the 1980’s it became clear the church in Nelscott needed repairs that were not cost effective so in 1981 a plan to build on the new property was approved. The building site and rough boundaries were established and the surrounding land which was determined not to be needed sold to raise funds for the new building.

The new building, while smaller than the original, was designed on one level with a large parking lot and portico to protect those being dropped off and picked up. The design of the facility took advantage of the beautiful wooded location with generous windows in the sanctuary.  The sanctuary was designed to accommodate 150 with chairs rather than pews to allow for flexibility. An adjacent kitchen allowed for easy access for coffee hour and special meals. The chairs could easily be rearranged, and tables added for special meals. A nursery with windows and a sound system at the back of the sanctuary allows families to hear the service. Two additional multi-purpose rooms were located off the sanctuary as well as a pastor’s office and study.

The Nelscott facility was decommissioned on December 8t, 1991 and the first service was held in the new building on December 15, 1991. In 1998 the church sold 3 acres to the east of the building were sold to the Lincoln City Head Start Program where they now have a beautiful facility.  The funds from the sale were used to reduce the amount owed on the ten-year note from the Synod of the Pacific which was used for construction of the church. In 1999 the church was gifted a modest house. The house was sold, and the proceeds enabled the church to retire the ten-year note six years early and Chapel by the Sea became debt free.

In 2006 a “Facility Expansion Task Force” was formed to guide the plan for expansion with a new multi-purpose room. The plan included an expanded kitchen, two ADA accessible restrooms, and a 2,750 sq.’ multi-purpose hall on the north side of the sanctuary. Excavation under the new hall provided the potential of an additional 1,500 square feet of classroom space in the future. The Tarbell Family Foundation provided a $150,000 challenge grant towards construction, which was matched and exceeded by the congregation through gifts and loans, and a bridge loan was obtained to cover the remaining amount required for construction. In 2009 the congregation was granted a loan from the Synod of the Pacific. This loan, called a James M. Muzzy loan, provided funds needed to retire the bridge loan and repay loans made by members of the congregation.

 Construction began in August 2007 and the completed remodel was dedicated on August 24, 2008.

The new hall was built with a focus on appropriate acoustics for hosting music and fine arts events as a witness and outreach to the Lincoln City community.

The hall, which has become known as the fellowship hall, has provided a space for many gatherings from after worship coffee and potlucks, musical programs, art shows, community outreach educational opportunities, to a home for Lincoln City Young Life and Wyld Life programs. 

Some highlights from the new hall included:

  • Requiem 9/11, an original composition by Dr. Bob Herman honoring all whose lives were touched by the tragic events of 9/11/2001, was presented on September 11, 2008.

  • Mission Fair 2008 was held on May 3, 2008, featuring many of the non-profit organizations in Lincoln City. 

  • The summer music program SoundWaves used the hall in June of 2009 for a week of community concerts and classes for school children.

  • In 2018 the hall was used for a Coastal Women’s Retreat featuring a nationally known speaker.

  • In 2018, 2019 and 2022, the Head Start children used the hall for an annual Christmas Art Show and Sale.

  • Various events continue including hosting the Central Coast Chorale concerts in 2022.

Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian church has grown through the grace of God from a small community church in partnership with two other congregations to the vibrant church found today. The church has a growing connection in the community and in the world.

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